David Hall Makes Films Based on Albums, But They Aren’t Music Videos
“Making films based on albums is an exhausting and exhilarating experience and it’s the ultimate flattery to have a band say ‘I trust you with my music. Make a film based on it,’” filmmaker David Hall told Noisecreep. Hall doesn’t make music videos; he makes films based on entire albums. “I can’t take all the credit for the idea,” Hall said. Actually, it was Steve Austin of Today Is the Day fame who had the foresight to suggest Hall make a film for the band’s ‘Axis of Eden.’
Hall went to Concordia University in Montreal and went on to work for Kevin Tierney, a successful producer. “I worked on some Hollywood films, had a writer’s agent and wrote a bunch of scripts and TV shows and stuff. It’s not that I ever wanted to take the traditional route, but that was how I thought it had to be done. Luckily ‘life’ forced me to take another route,” Hall said.
The other route is making musical films, which Hall says “is nice because you have the freedom and time to explore lots of visual and thematic ideas. On the other hand, a video is a great challenge because you have to cram meaning into a couple of minutes. But the music always comes first!”
His documentary on Maryland Deathfest 7 will be available at this year’s fest, which is the eight edition of MDF. He also offered this bit of advice for aspiring filmmakers who want to make musical films. “I write a brief, respectful, but personable letter or email to the band I want to work with, outlining what I want to do and how I plan to do it creatively and financially and leave it at that,” he said. Also, expect rejection. “There are tons of bands I never hear back from,” Hall admitted. “But once in a while, like in the case of me and Today Is the Day, you make a connection with the band and get to collaborate. In terms of incorporating music, always get permission!!! You could end up putting a lot of work into something that you can’t use or have to change.”